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Kaedi ya go kwadiso ngongorego ya dikgang tsa madirelo
  1. Before a case can be registered at the Industrial Court, the applicant has to report the case to the Labour Office for mediation. When mediation has not been successful, referral certificate will be issued.
  2. It is only when the certificate has been produced by that the case can be registered with the court.
  3. At the Industrial Court, the applicant will then be given a form which is called statement of case wherein he/she will fill his/her personal details, terms of employment as well as a brief summary of facts of the circumstances that led to the disputes at hand. This is completed in triplicate.
  4. The statement of case is then delivered to the respondent within 14 days from the date of registration and the applicant must then sign the document indicating that the statement of case has been delivered to the respondent
  5. If the respondent intends to oppose the application, he/she must file his opposing statement of case within 14 days after receiving the statement of the case. After that the respondent has to give the applicant a copy of his statement of defence and file a copy with the court.
  6. After this process the case is ready to be heard.
  7. The registrar of the court then issues notices to both / all parties informing them of the date of hearing.
Registration of Trade Disputes by Civil Servants

Since 2004 when the new Trade Disputes Act came into operation, civil servants may now bring their disputes against the government to court, however members of the Botswana Defence Force, Botswana Police Service, Local Police Service and the Prisons Service are not included in the category of employees that can lodge a dispute against government at the industrial Court.

Kwadiso ya potlako

This is a process where applications are brought before court on the basis that the applicant's case is urgent and should not follow the normal process of hearing as outlined under guideline 5. Here the applicant is expected to show why his case should be given preference over others that are in the queue. The applicant should show that his is exceptional. In other words his circumstances should not be normal circumstances flowing from termination of employment, i.e. loss of income, undue hardship, evictions, repossessions etc. If an applicant is able to demonstrate that his/ her case is urgent, then it is heard almost immediately. The respondent will still be given an opportunity to oppose the application as well.

Tiriso ya basekiseki kwa kgotleng ya madirelo

In court the judges sit with two assessors. These assessors are drawn from a list of persons nominated by the employers' organisation and workers union (BOCCIM and BFTU) respectively. In the Industrial Court proceedings, assessors contribute only to issues on fact; the Judge alone decides questions of law. The role of the assessors is generally welcomed on the basis that they contribute to the confidence of litigants on both sides in the court.

Representation at the Industrial Court

In terms of section 21 of the Trade Disputes Act a party in any proceedings before the court may appear in person (unrepresented), by advocate or may be represented by any other person authorized by that party. This is in line with industrial Court being a court of equity.

Kaedi ya bahiri le bahiriwa e e tswang kwa kgotleng ya madirelo

It is important to keep records of employment that should include but not be limited to letters of employment, leave records, termination dates etc. Even where the agreement was verbal, the parties must ensure that they have their facts ready when coming to court.

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